My transition to India this time around has been a tough one. The pollution is worse than I remember, and I have been struggling with a cough/sore throat/cold/ear aches since I got here. Thankfully the yoga helps all of these things. The first week I observed a Pranayama class taught by Geetaji. As she walked into the hall my heart over flowed with gratitude. As we chanted, tears fell down my cheeks. To be in the room with THIS teacher, in THIS lifetime - filled me with tearful gratitude. Geeta has an eagle eye. She can see anything and everything in the room, and she is not afraid to yell at you to tell you. She taught the women class this morning (sequence below), and again I was filled with such gratitude to see her walk into the hall to teach us. The class was very small this morning - maybe 30 students. She was filled with passion - yelling, making jokes, lecturing. It is a journey being in her class. For a woman who says she is ready to die, I question that - she is filled with so much life.
Prashant's classes have been more profound then I have ever remembered. Or perhaps I have matured. He has a way of penetrating the yoga in such a deeper way then asana. His classes are different then I basic Iyengar class you may have experienced. He names an asana and then lectures as you are in - he literally gets you connected with yourself - you muscle, skin, breath, soul - he has you explore the sheaths of your being while in the pose. Then he has you come out, sit and he lectures on yoga philosophy. In my opinion he is a true yogi. Some of the biggest concepts I have gotten from him thus far are:
- Where do you go when you are not attached to pleasure and pain? What happens when you are attached to pleasure and pain? Watch the mind in this... in and out of asana.
-Steadiness, ease and comfort has to come before happiness.
- CONNECT to yourself - body, mind, and breath. Use the breath - inhalations, exhalations and retentions to move deeper in.
We had last week off for Diwali (the festival of lights) which as a Westerner reminds me of Christmas and 4th of July combined for 5 days (imagine you can explode fireworks all day long as much as you want!). Classes resumed today, and I am excited to be fully immersed now. It is a wonderful form of anticipation :)
Geetaji's Sequence from today (I am only adding basic actions)
1) AM Virasana
2) Parsva Virasana - legs and feet together
3) AM Virasana - legs and feet together
4) Parvritta AM Virasana - walk arms over as far as you can
6) AMS - feet together
7) Eka Pada AMS --->jump
UTT ----> AMS ----> UMS ----> AMS ----> UTT
Repeat AMS--->UMS 3x
8) Sirsasana Periods- Back bender
9) Trikonasana - focus on turning head. TURN whole body - pelvis abdomen, lift chest - head back and look up. Don't let head fall, shouldn't be heavy.
10) Virbha 1 - Roll upper arms out to create space in cervical. Arms up and BACK behind head, hands together. Turn feet. Throw head back and firm dorsal and shoulder blades in and UP. Lift chest, head way back, bend leg more.
11) Virbha 2 - "Majestic pose" like a king. Energy and attention has to be on back leg side as you bend front leg. We focused on turning the head and bringing the head back to back leg side. Head/eyes should be in line with shoulder/arm.
12) Ardha Chandrasana (Periods- Janu Sirsasana x5) - Same action of head as Trikonasana. It should not drop, has to lift and turn. Watch how that affects the chest.
13) UTT - legs wide
14) Prasarita Padottanasana - Head down
15) Rope 1 - side chest UP, head back
16) Sets Bhanda on bench - hold bench and pull it into you to create space in the ribcage and lungs.
17) AM Swastikasana - head resting on bench. Push bench away for extension of trunk, dorsal in.
18) UTT - Head resting on bench
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